REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 23, 1996 — In a strategic alliance announced today, Microsoft Corp. and Virtualize, of Santa Monica, Calif., said they would build a World Wide Web site that allows movie enthusiasts to get up-to-date Academy Awards®
The new Oscar®
site, http://oscars.guide.com, will be accessible from Feb. 13, the day the Academy Award nominations are announced, through the end of March. It will allow computer users worldwide to enjoy six weeks of buildup through the Oscar awards ceremony, broadcast March 25 on ABC-TV. Full details about the Web site will be shared Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.
The deal is significant because it will promote and enhance the world’s largest TV event for millions of Web users. Microsoft has a similar strategic deal with NBC and the NFL for another prominent TV event, the Super Bowl, creating this year’s
Web site (http://www.superbowl.com).
Virtualize has the exclusive worldwide license to create interactive titles for the Academy Awards. Microsoft and Virtualize will work closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Oscarcast producers Quincy Jones and David Salzman in creating the content of the Oscar Web site. Virtualize has done work for Disney, Castle Rock, Turner Entertainment, NBC and Activision, a popular game maker.
As part of the agreement, Microsoft will provide technical support as well as the products and technology to make the Oscar Web site as robust and dynamic as possible. Microsoft also will provide site links to Cinemania®
Online, a unique interactive source for movie history, video clips, and up-to-date movie reviews. Other online links will allow Web users to tap into the rich entertainment content on MSN
™, The Microsoft Network. The engine for the Web site will be the Microsoft®
Internet Information Server. This high-performance Web server, which is integrated into the Windows NT
Server 32-bit operating system, is scheduled to be available in February. The Oscar site also takes advantage of the state-of-the-art technologies in the Microsoft Internet Explorer version 2.0 Web browser. Although any user connected to the Internet can access the Oscar site, users of Internet Explorer 2.0 will have exclusive access to premier sound, video and graphics.
“This relationship will demonstrate a unique TV-plus-Internet experience for the first time,”
said Jonathan D. Lazarus, vice president of strategic relations at Microsoft.
“We hope this event will encourage other companies to extend themselves to new multimedia platforms, reaching new audiences and tapping into valuable marketing opportunities.”
“More than 1 billion viewers watch the Oscars each year,”
said David Mangone, president of Virtualize (http://www.virtualize.com).
“We think we can measurably enhance that TV viewing experience and make it more meaningful for millions of Internet users.”
Virtualize is a multimedia publisher that develops and produces interactive programming and proprietary titles. Virtualize also develops and produces interactive concepts and advertising-driven programming created in conjunction with corporate sponsors.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, Cinemania, MSN and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Academy Awards and Oscar are registered trademarks and registered service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.
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